Rowe, E., Lubienski, C., Skourdoumbis, A., Gerrard, J., Hursh, D.
Templates, typologies and typifications: neoliberalism as keyword
(2019) Discourse, 40 (2), pp. 150-161.
Neoliberalism as a concept, ideology, or theoretical lens has emerged in the last couple of decades as a monolithic presence in education research, and the social sciences more broadly. We bring two aims to this Special Issue: to critique the rigour of neoliberalism as a theoretical framework utilised within education research; and second, to explore and propose an alternative to neoliberalism as a critical frame of analysis. This paper will postulate three-waves of neoliberalism, specifically ordo-liberalism, radical liberalism, and post-neoliberalism. We challenge ‘big-N’ neoliberalism; conceptualisations of neoliberalism as homogenous and monolithic; and, demonstrate how neoliberalism interacts with particular milieus of time and space. In reflection of Williams but also Foucault’s tracing of ‘discursive formations’, neoliberalism as a keyword points to a genealogy of power which requires further excavation. The notion of an assemblage, enabling mutations and contra configurations, may offer a way forward. © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Foucault; Fraser; keyword: assemblage; Neoliberalism; ordo-liberalism